By Midge Pierce
Portopia’s storied charm has the yips. The former Rose City is declared a cesspool, the noxious air so thick Beijing boasts better air quality.
Going downtown takes longer than getting to Boring. Old Portland has given way to New Portland and now “Next” whose big thing is e-scooters gaslighting bikes and pedestrians.
Once a model of urban polite, good planning and comic relief, Portopia is now fodder for Alex Jones conspiracies and George Will columns.
Snark is the new civil and preservation-averse parvenus are the new orange. Mature trees that cool homes twenty degrees are felled to squeeze microchipped newbies into Alexa-equipped micro units and shipping containers.
Demolition is a design element and charcoal is the smell of California burning and disturbingly trendy house colors.
Kindergartners practice duck and cover drills on open campuses and carry bottled water in bullet-proof backpacks. Safety is a dirty word. Poop in parks and on front porches hold more clout than families with toddlers, multiple jobs and eco-gardens.
Idealism fades in the glare of CBS news leads and polemics. Busloads of burly boys bearing guns, oblivious to the irony of pride in their moniker, claim allegiance to God and country while waging war on Portopia’s laidback lifestyle.
Occupy ICE activists lose support by failing to deport weeks of 90-degree ripened debris. Both the hate-filled right and unctious left dress for battle. The MAGA-hatted would rather live in Russia than Portopia. Those masked in black prefer The Matrix.
Homelessness is welcomed rather than solved through social programs, job training and niceness. Equity that should raise all standards, instead lowers the bar on livability and liberties for all. Every aspect of city business starts with the watchwords inclusionary diversity as long as it excludes the evil cabal who pay taxes, weed lawns or mansplain.
The aptly named Infill project RIP promises to make desirable neighborhoods unlivable.
City Hall aspirations eradicate residents’ self-determination. Front doors slam as Portopia’s stakeholders take their taxdollars, stability and lawn mowers elsewhere.